Friday 24 February 2017

Irish population at over 4.5m despite emigration and recession

Independent.ie reporters

The Irish population has grown by 8.1pc to over 4.58 million since 2006 – the highest level in 150 years – according to census figures released today.

The growth of 341,421 people was recorded despite emigration and the slowdown in the economy.

New figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO), show that populations varied across the country with Co Laois showing the biggest rise of 20pc.

As in 2002 and 2006, Cork and Limerick cities were the only areas to record a fall in population.

The figures are based on preliminary results and CSO statisticians are still assessing census forms and more definitive information will be available next year.

“These early results are based on the summary counts for each enumeration area which were compiled by the 4,854 enumerators,” said Shaun McLoughlin, statistician at the CSO.

While there are no new results on the level of emigration since 2006, the level of inward migration has halved.

And the effects of the recession can also be seen in the number of vacant houses reflecting the ghost estates phenomenon.

The number of vacant dwellings increased by 10.5pc since 2006, although vacancy rates have fallen off slightly.

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